Bleak future ahead of Syrian children

Bleak future ahead of Syrian children
Sun Dec 15, 2013 20:53:05

More than 11,000 children have now died in Syria's deadly war and hundreds of thousands more face a bleak future, but work by international charities is giving them hope.

There are 1.1 million children living as refugees, 300,000 not receiving an education and more than 70,000 living without fathers as a result of the Syrian war.

For the children there, avoiding bomb blasts is a day to day occurrence, 7 News wrote in a report.

"My cousin, she's five years old. She couldn't jump that fast... so she fell down and died,” one young girl told Melissa Doyle, reporter of the 7 News.

She was wounded in the same attack, in the leg and hand.

It is an all-too familiar scenario for the children of Syria, but just across the border in Jordan’s Zaatari refugee camp, the children are safe.

"I've heard stories about torturing in front of their eyes, of their families, their relatives, their colleagues dying, bodies in the streets,” Maha Hawashin from World Vision said.

One child spoke of how he saw his teacher shot dead at the school gates.

It is atrocities like that which mean children are missing out on years of education.

That boy now learns at a school run by World Vision in Irbid, northern Jordan.

While there are just a few at that school, it is estimated that a million child refugees are being helped by international charities.

They talk of going home, rebuilding homes, and families, but the scars of war run deep.

“It's the generation of fear, traumatized children, out of school... this is what I most fear, of the future,” Hawashin said.

Videos circulated over the internet by Syria rebels have shown children being recruited by armed groups, or even trained how to kill in horrifying ways.

However, recently it is not just the war; the worst storm to hit the Middle East in decades has made the condition worse for Syrian kids, both inside the country and in the neighboring refugee camps.

Hundreds of thousands of Syrian child refugees are enduring winter snow storms with little more than sandals and T-shirts for protection, humanitarian aid agencies have warned.

Bringing high winds, blizzards and freezing temperatures, the Alexa storm, the worst to hit the Middle East in decades, has been devastating for refugees.

The United Nations warned in a November report that the war is creating a generation of traumatized, isolated and under-educated children who are vulnerable to exploitation and recruitment by armed groups.


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